The Swedish woodworking industry adopts a common digital language

Published on October 24, 2022

Swedish Wood is implementing the data dictionary, Define, to develop a standards-based digital language for describing wood products. The goal is to improve collaboration within the industry as well as to facilitate free information flow across the construction supply chain.

Through its agreement with Cobuilder, Swedish Wood will gain access to the data dictionary to develop, maintain and manage digital information about wood products. Interoperability and seamless collaboration are some of the expected benefits.

Johan Fröbel
Johan FröbelHead of Technology and Trade at Swedish Wood

“Our members have customers all over the world. We will be part of a common solution that can provide both business and environmental benefits. We are currently updating our product catalogue to integrate data templates from the data dictionary. Digital product data which contains important information, such as technical properties as well as climate and environmental properties, is essential to meet the market information needs”, says Johan Fröbel, Head of Technology and Trade at Swedish Wood.

European initiative for wood products

Define is already implemented at a European level by CEI-Bois, the European woodworking industry confederation. They have developed content in the data dictionary and released data templates based on European standards for wood products. A data template is a common data structure that describes the properties, physical characteristics, and performance of a construction object in a way that can be traced to a credible source of information.

The goal of creating European content in the data dictionary is to aid industry organisations across the continent in implementing a common digital language by providing a foundation based on European standards. The data structures can then be further enriched with additional data to meet specific market information needs at a local level. This approach enables cooperation across borders.

“To ensure collaboration between markets, we have established a link between CEI-Bois and Swedish Wood. We manage the interests of the Swedish woodworking industry, and it is to everyone’s advantage that we speak the same digital language. It can provide great benefits in terms of improving efficiency”, says Johan Fröbel.

The international industry initiative Define is managed by the Norwegian software company Cobuilder. The aim of the initiative is to solve challenges related to digital interaction by establishing various workgroups. The goal is to create a common digital language to meet European and national regulatory and market requirements.

Lars Christian Fredenlund
Lars Christian FredenlundCEO, Cobuilder

“Using Define, manufacturers can turn data into a competitive advantage. By delivering standardised, high-quality data to customers, construction industry actors will be able to use the data in any system or BIM tool. In addition, accurate machine-readable data is key to improving business processes and automating time-consuming tasks, such as data entry, conversion to various formats, tracking and transfer of data”, says Lars Chr. Fredenlund, CEO of Cobuilder.

Standards are paramount to digital transformation

The methodology for creating data templates and data dictionaries has been developed by CEN TC 442, which is a technical committee that works with standardisation of BIM and digitalisation at the international level. It is the very content of European standards that is used to develop a digital language which enables seamless information exchange between systems and tools. Standards are also at the core of the data dictionary Define.